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Secret Tape Has Police Pressing Ticket Quotas

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mike r Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-09-10 10:24 PM
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Secret Tape Has Police Pressing Ticket Quotas
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/10/nyregion/10quotas.htm...

September 9, 2010
Secret Tape Has Police Pressing Ticket Quotas
By AL BAKER and RAY RIVERA

For nearly every New Yorker who has received a summons in the city caught at a checkpoint monitoring seat-belt use, or approached by a small army of police officers descending on illegally parked cars quotas are a maddening fact of life. No matter how often the Police Department denies the existence of quotas, many New Yorkers will swear that officers are sometimes forced to write a certain number of tickets in a certain amount of time.

Now, in a secret recording made in a police station in Brooklyn, there is persuasive evidence of the existence of quotas. The hourlong recording, which a lawyer provided this week to The New York Times, was made by a police supervisor during a meeting in April of supervisors from the 81st Precinct. The recording makes clear that precinct leaders were focused on raising the number of summonses issued even as the Police Department had already begun an inquiry into whether crime statistics in that precinct were being manipulated.

The Police Departments chief spokesman, Paul J. Browne, did not respond Thursday to three e-mails and three phone calls requesting comments on the recording. He was sent extensive excerpts from the tape. On the tape, a police captain, Alex Perez, can be heard warning his top commanders that their officers must start writing more summonses or face consequences. Captain Perez offered a precise number and suggested a method. He said each officer on a day tour should write 20 summonses a week: five each for double-parking, parking at a bus stop, driving without a seat belt and driving while using a cellphone.

You, as bosses, have to demand this and have to count it, Captain Perez said, citing pressure from top police officials. At another point, Captain Perez emphasized his willingness to punish officers who do not meet the targets, saying, I really dont have a problem firing people. The recording is the latest in a series of audiotapes from the precinct that have raised concerns among community leaders and residents of the neighborhoods it covers, Brownsville and Bedford-Stuyvesant. Those Brooklyn residents contend that the tapes show a department fixated on the number of summonses and low-level arrests, and that the result is a pattern of harassment on the streets...
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demosincebirth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-09-10 11:22 PM
Response to Original message
1. Well, you could have knocked me over with a feather!
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Rage for Order Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-09-10 11:25 PM
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2. I feel shocked
Who knew?

:shrug:
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Sherman A1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-10-10 03:08 AM
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3. Surprise? Not.....
Police Departments have long been a revenue stream for local communities and perhaps more so now with the economic downturn.

Here in St Louis, we have one municipality that has set up two speed cameras to cover their 1/4 mile portion of a cross town highway, which had no record of excessive accidents or speeding. The state forced them to have the cameras manned by an officer (which they pay an off duty one to do), put up signs in both directions noting the area to be "Photo enforced" and is now rather pissed at them for having taken it upon themselves to close down some lanes on a Sunday to mark the highway with calibration stripes.

Nevertheless, it is always about the money.
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Sen. Walter Sobchak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-10-10 03:16 AM
Response to Original message
4. I'm still pissed off about this bullshit ticket,
I got a massive ticket for "failing to yield to a pedestrian" - the said pedestrian was a dude standing at a bus stop and remained stationary the entire time I was pulled over.
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Daphne08 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-10-10 04:28 AM
Response to Original message
5. This occurs in small cities as well. n/t
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Blue_Tires Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-10-10 07:17 AM
Response to Original message
6. this is news?
it's widespread knowledge at least in the south where I've lived most of my life...


maybe the 'news' is that there is an actual recording this time....
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grace0418 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-10-10 11:58 AM
Response to Original message
7. It's so obvious it goes on in Chicago it's not even funny.
Edited on Fri Sep-10-10 12:00 PM by grace0418
I live on the corner of two one-way streets. I used to prefer the space across the street from my front door because I drive a Civic coupe. Civics are low to the ground and the coupes have long doors, so it's difficult for me to park it next to the curb and still open the door. My favorite spot allowed me to park close to my house, yet open the door onto the street so I didn't have to worry about the door getting stuck.

Then, after years of parking there, I got a ticket for not parking 30 FEET away from a stop sign. 30 feet is, what, three full car lengths (neither of the two cars behind me got a ticket though)? Nobody in the city of Chicago parks that far away. 25% of the parking in Chicago would be gone if that were uniformly enforced. Not to mention this is the SW corner of streets that run one way south and east. So I am not blocking ANYONE's view coming from either direction even if I'm parked right up to the stop sign in a tractor-trailer.

Fine, so I stopped parking there in favor of the spot directly in front of my house. If I park in the very first spot, the curb is low enough to allow me to open my door. I've noticed since then that every month or so (around the same time), the person parked in my former favorite spot gets a parking ticket.

But it doesn't end there. Now they've started giving tickets in my new favorite spot if you're not parked more than 21" from the stop line or some other ridiculousness. After years and years of no tickets whatsoever. Now I have to park further back, which screws the whole block out of a parking space and makes it more difficult to open the door as the curb starts getting higher.

With all the crime in Chicago, this is what they choose to focus on? Yeah, I'm thinking quotas.
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